Griffith residents are being urged to support locals doing it tough as part of the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts being held on Friday 23 October 2020.
Following on from the success of the first virtual Vinnies CEO Sleepout, which raised over $5.7 million back in June, locals now have the chance to sleep out in cars, backyards and couches as part of a state-wide live-stream, raising awareness and funds for homelessness occurring in regional areas.
All funds raised from the Murrumbidgee Region Vinnies Community Sleepout will go towards Vinnies Care and Support Centres in Griffith, Narrandera and Leeton, providing vital support to those in our community who need it the most.
In a bid to raise awareness locally, Griffith City Council General Manager Mr Brett Stonestreet is urging residents to get behind the virtual initiative.
“The Vinnies Community Sleepout is a great initiative in raising awareness and funding support for those in our community who are doing it tough,” said Mr Stonestreet.
“We sometimes take a warm bed with a roof over the head each night for granted. The Sleepout is a reminder that for several of our citizens, the reality of things is very different,” he said.
“I acknowledge that a one night sleepout during mid Spring is not the same experience as “every night during all seasons” but this important initiative does draw community attention to the plight of the homeless.”
Griffith Mayor, Councillor John Dal Broi is also keen to support the cause, even if it’s just from the comfort of his couch.
“Homelessness is such an important issue for us to help raise awareness and funds for,” said Cr Dal Broi
“I urge everyone in Griffith to get behind this worthwhile event by either taking part or donating funds. If you donate to the Murrumbidgee Region Community Sleepout you know the funds will help people in need in our region.
“You can register as a team with your family, school, sports club, business or join as an individual, or you can make a donation to the Murrumbidgee Region Vinnies Community Sleepout tab online.”
Griffith residents can also donate in person by visiting the Griffith Care and Support Centre at 67 Yambil Street Griffith (Wednesday and Thursday between 9am and 3.30pm and Friday from 11am to 3pm).
Vinnies NSW CEO Jack de Groot urged regional communities throughout New South Wales to unite in a show of solidarity with locals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“Between drought, bushfires and COVID-19 there are a lot of people unsure of when the tide will turn,” said Mr de Groot.
“We know around 40 per cent of people sleeping rough in NSW live outside major cities, while people with children are seeking specialist homelessness support at higher rates in regional and rural areas.
“With the funds raised from the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout we’ll be able to continue assisting people doing it tough at a time when they need it most.”
Currently more than 116,000 people in Australia go to bed each night without a safe and secure place to live. NSW accounts for over a third of the national total with well over 37,000 people experiencing homelessness.
People can register to take part and donate at www.vinnies.org.au/communitysleepout